Dubai Shopping Festival 2014 To Start January 2

The biggest shopping extravaganza in the Middle East attracted 4.66 million visitors last year.

MAF's flagship Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

The 19th Dubai Shopping Festival will take place on January 2 next year, kicking off Dubai’s events calendar for 2014.

The biggest shopping extravaganza in the Middle East helped to attract 4.66 million visitors during the same period last year, mainly from Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and the United Kingdom.

The increased flow of tourism has a knock-on effect for Dubai’s hospitality sector, with hotels reporting a rise of 4.7 per cent last year with occupancy rates hitting 90 per cent.

The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), part of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, run the month-long shopping extravaganza.

Laila Suhail, chief executive of DFRE, said: “We are very pleased to announce the dates for the next edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, the region’s best entertainment and shopping extravaganza.

“By announcing the dates now four months before DSF 2014 commences, we can provide everyone involved in organising the event — from retailers to hotel operators and travel agents here and overseas — adequate time for planning, preparing and implementing an extensive line-up of high-quality events and shopping promotions.”

The first 18 shopping festivals attracted 47 million visitors to Dubai, injecting an estimated Dhs114 billion into the emirate’s economy.